Friday, March 4, 2011

Now the Writing Begins

March 4, 2011 - A Slice of Life from Friday afternoon

You heard me talk of the launch of an essay writing group on Monday, of personal topics & the search for meaning by individual students/early adolescents. I had to miss the Wednesday session because of a conflict. On that day students worked with the two other teachers to plump up the writing by asking questions. It's the lesson that tells a story like, One night, I was frightened by a strange noise. My mother saved me, thank goodness. The end. Any questions? The point is made that it's such a 'thin' story, & needs to be fattened up, plumped up, whatever word that you prefer to use that means "more details".
Today was first draft day/typed. Students on Friday are not always at their best. They have worked hard during the week & Saturday fun beckons. This group met after lunch, after recess, & was not a pretty group. It was time to wake them up with enthusiasm, or at least with surprise! That is why I told them that today was the day for new writing, new ideas, but same topic. In other words, revision. They looked at me without much energy, but, great kids that they are, they listened. They listened to some explanations & examples of leads & how they work. They offered their own ideas of good ways to start. We were out of bed & waking up! Since I had missed Wednesday, I didn't know what each had chosen for a topic. I felt like celebrating. They wanted others to know about things like sibling rivalry, the importance of extra-curricular activities, the homeless problem, issues of education in Africa. I am humbled. These students are 11 and 12 years old, & definitely are moving into the wider, mostly thoughtful world.
More about our revising next time. . .

6 comments:

  1. Kids never think revision is necessary, but I think if we can give them specific items to revisit, they are more agreeable.
    Possible response to your question: do you always type in a word to prove it's not spam? I click on post comment, then it may take 10 seconds to show up the anti-spam word. Type it and click post again.

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  2. Thanks, maybe I'm not waiting long enough. I'll try that.

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  3. No-it didn't work. I research some more. Obviously it worked with Two Writing Teachers.

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  4. I love "any questions?" very socratic :-) Let's see if my comment will post...

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  5. Great prompt with the students, Linda. Any questions? ;) (No, no idea on the WordPress issue. I wasn't noticing of which 'blog origin' the posts were. Sorry.)

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  6. Thanks-I'll keep working at it. I liked your post! Am so excited about us doing this.

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Having a conversation is a good thing!